Reference is made to the article, “Govt relocates Burundian refugees as arrivals hit 10,000” (The New Times, April 23).
Burundi’s increasing political violence currently being exercised by the ruling party’s youth militia on peaceful citizens is not different from that of Islamic militants Boko Haram or Al Shabaab.
However, none of those terrorist organisations has sent to refuge as many people in a so short period. Yet, the Burundi issue seems to receive less attention from the international community, including international media.
The influx of refugees fleeing the violence negatively impacts neighbouring countries and strains their resources. What is probably less known by many is the fact that those fleeing this communal militia were already internally displaced since 1993.
Today, they are becoming refugees for the second time by simply changing the location of their refuge, i.e. from internally displaced camps to international refugee camps. They had remained in IDP camps in an effort to better organize their resistance against the militia’s objective to eliminate them.
The Imbonerakure militia phenomenon is not new. It has been nurtured and organised for some years, their last preparation being their recent military drills in Kiliba Ondes, DR Congo that has been denounced by many some of whom were eventually sent to prison.